Improve your mood with food

Jul 28, 2008 at 7:32 a.m. ET

What you eat (and what you don't eat) can have a profound impact on your moods. The following food combinations can help you feel less cranky, irritable and stressed. All meals are balanced and include high-quality carbohydrates and lean proteins and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, folic acid, B12 and soluble fiber. Getting the right nutrients throughout your day can keep you happy, healthy and energized. Another surefire way to be in a better mood is to snack on small meals every three to four hours. Regular meals will keep your blood sugar from falling and putting you in a sour mood.

Woman with Cereal and Fruit

Breakfast Combinations

Cereal and fruit: Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk topped with chopped walnuts and flaxseeds. Include an orange or half grapefruit.

Breakfast burrito: Scramble 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. Place egg in a whole grain tortilla and top with black beans and shredded low-fat cheese. Add onions and salsa for an extra kick.

Cottage cheese, fruit and nuts: Combine low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt with berries and almonds.

Lunch Combinations

Salmon salad: Mix one can of salmon with low-fat mayonnaise and onion and serve over fresh spinach topped with crumbled whole grain crackers.

Chicken salad: Top mixed greens with grilled chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, beets, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, and beans. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Super sandwich: Place sliced turkey breast, lean ham or grilled chicken breast on whole grain bread or pita and top with fresh spinach, tomato, onion, and low-fat cheese. For extra moisture and flavor, spread mustard, low-fat mayonnaise or hummus on bread or pita. Serve baby carrots on the side.

Snack Combinations

Sesame carrots: Mix baby carrots with unsalted, unsweetened sunflower seeds.

Peanutty apple slices: Dip a sliced apple in peanut butter.

Frozen banana pop: Freeze a sliced banana on sticks for an afternoon frozen treat. For extra protein and omega-3's, roll banana in chopped nuts before freezing. 

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